Queens Groper Sought
A repeated series of groping has prompted elected officials and community activists to speak out. Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer held an early morning press conference on 46th Street and Queens Boulevard on October 17 to alert the public about a perpetrator who has been groping women, and one 12-year-old girl in the neighborhoods of Sunnyside and Woodside.
“Sunnyside and Woodside are safe neighborhoods but one assault against women is one too many. We will track down this cowardly criminal and make sure he is punished and put away. We must be vigilant as a community as the 108th Precinct pursues leads in the case and I will do all I can to assist the NYPD in getting this sexual predator off our streets,” Van Bramer said.
Van Bramer, who was joined at the podium by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, state Senator Michael Gianaris, Congressmember Joseph Crowley and Community Board 2 Chair Joseph Conley, is working with the 108th Precinct to support the full-scale investigation already underway to capture the suspect as soon as possible.
“One of the great things about Sunnyside and Woodside is the feeling of safety and community that people share. We are not going to allow this predator to make women afraid in these or any other sections of Queens,” Quinn said. “We are asking for the public’s help, if anyone sees anything or has any useful information about these incidents, we want them to call the NYPD.”
State Senator Michael Gianaris, who recently introduced legislation to make groping of a child a felony requiring mandatory jail time, said, “We must have zero tolerance for the recent rash of groping incidents in our neighborhoods. In addition to the passage of my bill that would increase penalties for gropers, we must band together as a community to keep our streets safe and free from sexual predators.”
Crowley encouraged the community as a whole to help identify the groper saying,
“The women of our community should not have to walk through our neighborhoods in fear of being attacked,” Crowley said. “I urge everyone to take a good look at the surveillance tape and contact the authorities if you recognize the suspect as well as report any suspicious activity. This is a time when our community can work together to help ensure our family, friends and neighbors are safe and to help bring the person responsible for these attacks to justice.”
The suspect, described as a Hispanic male between the ages of 30 and 40, has been seen riding a black mountain bike as he rides up behind his female victims and grabs them inappropriately before fleeing. He has been striking the same general area within a few blocks of each other.